Jan 21, 2015 | By Will

A self-proclaimed true science fiction fan who goes by the online alias Alkany has designed and 3D printed his own futuristic "M-1 Enforcer" airsoft rifle using his Ultimaker 2 FDM 3D printer.

A larger part being printed by Alkany's Ultimaker 2

This is Alkany's first airsoft gun design. He says he did not use any particular piece of science fiction as inspiration for the design, but rather came up with it on his own with no more than ideas from his favorite sci-fi movies and games as a guide.

Alkany started with a P90 gearbox and M4 magazines and built around those with his own printed designs that he finally finished and painted. Perhaps most impressively, he has zero previous experience using Computer Aided Design (CAD) prior to this project. Alkany says he chose to use the modeling program TinkerCAD because of its simple workflow, exact real-life dimensions, and the fact that it allows you to export directly as an .STL for 3D printers. He adds, "[TinkerCAD] also runs in your browser, so you can access it anywhere."

"What mattered to me the most was building something around a P90 gearbox that works with M4 mags. I also wanted all the functions that I was used to with other airsoft guns, so functionality was more important than design."

You can watch the making of the gun as well as a demonstration in the video below.

The airsoft gun includes a magazine release button that allows the magazine clip to fall out for reloads during alien invasions, a spring-loaded bullet ejection port, and a fire selector that can be pulled out to utilize full-auto, or pushed down for semi-burst mode. In the back of the gun is an electronics box and batteries that operate the red LED strip running along the sides of the top rail cover and fire the pellets. You can also mount optics below the nozzle such as a guiding laser or flashlight.

The completed prototype

Everything that created using a 3D printer has to be able to fit within the confines of the printer's build volume, so Alkany designed and printed the parts section-by-section, with the main goal being functionality comparable to a commercially available airsoft gun, rather than emphasizing a sleek, attractive design.

Custom hop-up part for loading pellets into ejection chamber

His M-1 Enforcer was printed on his Ultimaker 2 3D printer at 0.15 and 0.1 mm layer heights. After sanding it was painted by airbrush and features the Marathon logo featured in the game Halo.

Airbrushing for a clean finished look

This project took a grand total of around 34.5 hours, according to Alkany, with 3 hours spent sanding and finishing parts, 2-3 for initial assembly and fitting, 1.5 hours of painting plus dry time, and the remaining 25 of those hours being CAD time at his computer. He estimates that it cost about EUR 160 to complete including all the pre-fabricated parts (EUR 115) and filament for 3D printed ones (EUR 40-45).

The design files are not currently available for free download, so to make a futuristic airsoft rifle yourself will require the same hands-on process. Alkany plans to revamp the design and is considering eventually selling the parts or designs on Shapeways.

Alkany in full gear showing off both his gun and his passion for science fiction

Alkany says he so far loves what 3D printing is capable of, like being able to create unique designs from scratch. He believes that almost anyone is capable of creating their own unique designs using CAD programs and 3D printers. He adds that we can expect to see more advanced designs from him in the future having stepped through the doorway of CAD as well as improvements on this one.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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GAD wrote at 1/26/2015 10:17:46 PM:

Russian user printed airsoft CZ Evo with 3d printed gearbox http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:461896

GAD wrote at 1/26/2015 10:17:20 PM:

Russian user printed airsoft CZ Evo with 3d printed gearbox http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:461896

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